Updated: 5th February 2020
The catering company Peyton and Byrne has been entered into administration and immediately broken up and resold to new owners.
The pre-pack administration deal is expected to mean that no redundancies will be necessary across the business, which was co-founded in 2005 by Oliver Peyton, a judge on the BBC’s TV cooking show the Great British Menu.
Peyton is set to remain with the business as his family takes ownership of its bakery operations.
Meanwhile, the French catering giant Sodexo is taking over the remaining elements of the business, which covers a broad variety of catering contracts.
Sodexo is also set to take ownership of the Peyton and Byrne brand name under the terms of the recently-agreed pre-pack administration deal.
A total of around 260 people employed by the business are expected to keep their jobs as a result of the deal but investors including the Business Growth Fund are set to lose out.
The fund had owned a majority stake in the firm but has reportedly only been able to recoup a small fraction of its investment value and has said it will “no longer have an interest in the business”.
“Against the backdrop of an increasingly competitive marketplace, the board of Peyton and Byrne believed that the interests of staff and customers would be best served under the umbrella of a larger service provider,” a spokesperson for the fund has said.
“There will be no interruption, no redundancies, no change in the quality of service and all bookings at Peyton and Byrne venues will be honoured.”
Contract losses at Kew Gardens and the British Library have not helped Peyton and Byrne’s operating position in recent months, with the business having reported financial losses for each of the past two years.
Its catering operations and staff will now become part of one of the world’s largest catering companies in Sodexo, which generates annual revenues worth billions of pounds and has hundreds of thousands of employees worldwide.
Deloitte were appointed as administrators of Peyton and Byrne recently and said in a statement: “This famous catering brand founded by restaurateur Oliver Peyton has gone through a difficult trading period, following the loss of two key contracts.
“However, today’s announcement confirms the business has a future and jobs are being preserved.” With 77 offices stretching from Inverness down to Exeter, Real Business Rescue can offer unparalleled director advice across the UK.